Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has extended its contract with Ericsson for deployment of 5G-ready radio network, a statement said on Wednesday. The Made-in-India 5G-ready Ericsson Radio System products is expected to enhance the network experience of Airtel customers, the statement said but did not disclose the size of the renewed multi-year contract.
"Bharti Airtel...and Ericsson have strengthened their long-standing partnership with a renewed multi-year contract to supply and deploy 5G-ready radio and transport solutions from Ericsson," the statement by Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson said. The extension of contract comes after announcement of a renewed pan-India managed services contract in July this year, and marks another milestone in the companies' 25-year partnership.
The continued deployment of Ericsson Radio System products and solutions is expected to enhance Airtel's network capacity and deliver a robust experience to its customers. The products will also ensure an increase in Airtel network's backhaul capacities. Commenting on the renewal of the contract, Bharti Airtel Chief Technology Officer Randeep Sekhon said the company is focused on delivering the robust network experience to customers, especially in current unprecedented times when digital connectivity is more important than ever.
"We are delighted to deepen our partnership with Ericsson as part of our endeavor to build a network ready for 5G and beyond," he said. Nunzio Mirtillo, Head of Ericsson South East Asia, Oceania and India, said the products manufactured in India will continue to benefit Indian users by enhancing Airtel's network capacity and enabling it to cater to the country's fast-growing data traffic needs".
Ericsson started production in India in 1994 and the company currently manufactures 4G and 5G radios as well as microwave products at its Pune production facility. This facility is part of Ericsson's global production footprint, with presence in six continents.
According to the recent Ericsson Mobility Report, India remains the region with the highest usage per smartphone per month. In the India region, the average monthly mobile data usage per smartphone continues to show robust growth, fuelled by the rapid adoption of 4G.
"LTE (Long Term Evolution) remains the dominant technology, accounting for 49 percent of mobile subscriptions in 2019. LTE will continue to be dominant, representing 64 percent of mobile subscriptions in 2025," the statement said. LTE subscriptions in the India region are forecast to increase to 820 million in 2025, from 550 million in 2019, demonstrating an average growth of seven per cent.
In telecommunications parlance, Long-Term Evolution or LTE refers to wireless broadband communication standard for mobile devices and data terminals.